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Coronavirus Update: China sees violent protests against COVID restrictions, and U.S. cases have been rising


Protests in northeastern China against the government’s zero-COVID policy became violent, as seven people were arrested after a clash between residents and police enforcing quarantine restrictions, the Associated Press reported.

The violence comes after China reported 2,230 new cases in the southern manufacturing and technology hub of Guangzhou, and at a time when an increasing number of reports say the government is considering steps to ease the zero-COVID policy.

It wasn’t clear who was arrested after the clash with authorities, the AP reported, but news of the arrests appeared on social media early Tuesday before being erased by government censors before noon.

In the U.S., the seven-day average of new cases totaled 39,711 on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker, which was down from 39,967 on Sunday, and down from a one-month high of 40,163 on Friday. But the daily average has increased 6% from two weeks ago, as 33 states and Washington, D.C., have seen cases rise over the same time. Stay up to date with MarketWatch’s daily Coronavirus Daily column.

The states seeing the biggest increases were Nevada at 96%, Tennessee at 69% and Louisiana at 68%, the New York Times data show.

The daily average for hospitalizations was 27,412 on Monday, down from 27,481 on Sunday but up 2% from two weeks ago.

On the bright side, the daily average for COVID-related deaths fell to a five-month low of 300 on Monday, down from 318 on Sunday and 15% below the average seen two weeks ago.

New York Times Co.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans who have completed the original primary series of vaccinations has barely budged from 68.5% of the total population, while the those eligible who have received updated (bivalent) booster shots sits at 8.4% of the total population, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Novavax Inc.

said Tuesday that a Phase 3 trial of its vaccine targeting the COVID variant omicron supports its continued use as a booster.

“The data demonstrate that the BA.1 vaccine candidate neutralizing responses in those not previously exposed to COVID-19 were greater than those of the prototype vaccine (NVX-CoV2373), enabling a shift to a new variant vaccine, if necessary,” the company said in a statement.

The prototype vaccine induced a broad immune response against the original coronavirus, as well as the BA.1 and BA.5 variant strains.

On a global basis, the total number of COVID cases has increased to 633.16 million, while deaths have reached 6,602,183, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen a total of 97.78 million cases and 1,072,749 deaths.

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